The Adrian Durham opinion that “Sheffield United are going down” are among those pinned on the dressing room wall.
Talksport’s Drive presenter spoke about the Blades in the summer ahead of their first Premier League season in 12 years.
“Sheffield United are going down,” said Durham on his show. “They’re not even taking the Premier League seriously.
“They’re still bigging up Billy Sharp, and as much as I love Billy Sharp; great record, absolute legend, local boy came good, third spell at the club, but he is League One.
“When you’ve got a team that’s not being competitive, all they’re doing is signing Championship players and saying; ‘Isn’t this great, Billy Sharp is in the Premier League.’
“That’s not taking the Premier League seriously, they’re underestimating the jump from Championship to Premier League and I feel a bit uncomfortable about it.”
We wrote at the time about why we thought Durham was wrong. Yet even we couldn’t have predicted just how spectacularly inaccurate he would be.
Following their 2-1 win against Bournemouth on Sunday, United are fifth in the table after 26 games. With 39 points on the board already, relegation is no longer being talked about. Instead it is about qualifying for Europe.
Adrian Durham is among those pinned on the Sheffield United wall
Chris Wilder revealed recently on the At Home With Colin Murray podcast that criticism such as Durham’s goes up on the walls of the changing room.
Yet during a behind-the-scenes piece with Robbie Savage for BT Sport ahead of the weekend’s match with the Cherries, we got to see exactly what was there. And Durham’s comments were on display.
“It gives you a bit of an edge sometimes, just to prove people wrong,” Wilder told Savage.
“A couple of those bits and pieces do get pinned up on the wall. Why not?
“It’s not an issue in sometimes reminding the players what other people might think of them. It just adds a little bit for us getting the best performances out of those players.”
Wilder’s assistant, Alan Knill, added: “It’s just lazy. It’s lazy and they’ve not really watched (us). We have a unique way of playing and it suits this club.”
There were also some pre-season predictions of the Blades finishing bottom of the table, but the rest wasn’t revealed.
Yet it’s not difficult to guess what might be included. Garth Crooks described United as “basic” on BBC’s Final Score and said they were going to struggle. Before that, Danny Mills said they were “direct” and would find it “very hard.”
And long may it continue, because clearly it is simply motivating the Blades to perform better and better.